Today, we started off by driving up to the giant lighthouse in Byron Bay. We walked around and looked at the ocean and we saw some turtles and a bunch of whales that were breaching out of the water and it was truly incredible. From there, we headed to the Eastern most point in all of Australia where we saw dolphins. After a short hike down the lighthouse trail, we ventured out on a small lookout point and saw even more dolphins and whales. Next, we followed the trail to a huge beach where we saw a bunch of tiny fish in the water. At lunch, there were all of these really loud birds, called magpies, sitting outside the restaurant and even trying to steal a little bit of our lunches.
Heading to our surf excursion, we drove through the town of Byron which was a very cool hippie town with all of these shops selling rainbows, tye-dye shirts with peace signs and every other store besides those were surf shops of some sort. We also saw a ton of trees that were yarn-bombed that looked really groovy. Upon arriving at our surf lesson, we met our two very rad instructors, Popeye and Joey. They taught us all about safety through a number of hand signals. From there, we loaded our boards and headed to the ocean to hit the waves. Once on the beach, we learned to stand up on the board and finally we tried it for real!
We all paddled out to a relatively good spot to start and then we turned our boards around and waited for a wave. Brooke went first, she paddled really fast and then stood up, raised her hands in the air and screamed “Yeah!” I was next, I paddled fast and then I tried to stand up, but then, when I stood up I fell of the board and did a face plant to the bottom of the ocean. Mom did almost as well as Brooke, but fell off right at the end. Dad started paddling, but when he got on his knees he fell off, “Splat!” into the water.
I kept trying to get up on my feet and every once in a while I would make it, but then my board’s nose would go under and I would flip off or a wave coming back would push me into the wave I was on and then I would get splashed and then eventually fall off. Then, I was doing another one on a huge wave, and I was able to stand and I rode it all the way to shore! I kept landing more and more until I eventually landed all of them! I think we all had a great time and we all did a great job surfing. (Well, almost all of us, dad had some trouble doing it).
At the end of our amazing and exhausting day riding the waves off the Australian coastline, we headed back to the hotel with Pedro (our incredible guide) and Wendy (another one of our tour guides who is a former park ranger and an environmental scientist) back to The Byron at Byron Hotel. We had a fantastic day surfing and hiking in Byron Bay.